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Articles on this Page
- 04/13/13--07:16: _RIP | Oöphoi | ...
- 04/14/13--17:46: _Album Release | I...
- 04/19/13--18:53: _Jeffrey Plaide | ...
- 04/25/13--12:07: _Ella Fitzgerald - M...
- 05/04/13--04:05: _XenFont VSTi | Stats
- 05/24/13--18:05: _Cypher (2002) | F...
- 06/05/13--21:43: _EP Release | Jacky ...
- 06/16/13--07:42: _A Postcard for June...
- 06/28/13--20:02: _Vi Hart | Twelve ...
- 07/21/13--17:02: _K. P. H. Notoprojo ...
- 07/26/13--02:43: _A Brief History of ...
- 08/01/13--02:28: _LinPlug Spectral |...
- 08/07/13--16:57: _Korean Kayagum Sanj...
- 09/10/13--03:15: _Jon Hassell | 201...
- 09/11/13--20:16: _Chas Smith • Sculpt...
- 09/14/13--13:21: _Clocks and Clouds •...
- 10/03/13--02:59: _Danny Elfman | Mi...
- 10/23/13--03:25: _BBC News | How di...
- 10/26/13--12:15: _The Terpstra Keyboard
- 11/09/13--21:23: _Symphonie Cinétique...
- 04/13/13--07:16: RIP | Oöphoi | Gianluigi Gasparetti (1958–2013)
- 04/14/13--17:46: Album Release | Iquaxaphaezi: Passage (2003)
- 04/19/13--18:53: Jeffrey Plaide | Two New Videos Featuring Xen-Arts Xenharmonic FMTS
- 04/25/13--12:07: Ella Fitzgerald - Midnight Sun (1957)
- 05/04/13--04:05: XenFont VSTi | Stats
- 05/24/13--18:05: Cypher (2002) | Film Music with Microtones | Michael Andrews
- 06/05/13--21:43: EP Release | Jacky Ligon - Between Moments (2013)
- 06/16/13--07:42: A Postcard for June | 23-ED2 Etude
- 06/28/13--20:02: Vi Hart | Twelve Tones
- 07/21/13--17:02: K. P. H. Notoprojo | Javanese Rebab and Gamelan Master
- 07/26/13--02:43: A Brief History of Delay
- 08/01/13--02:28: LinPlug Spectral | Coming Autumn 2013
- 08/07/13--16:57: Korean Kayagum Sanjo | Scattered Melodies
- 09/10/13--03:15: Jon Hassell | 2013 Tour • Lisboa
- 10/03/13--02:59: Danny Elfman | Microtonal Film Music Composer
- 10/23/13--03:25: BBC News | How did ancient Greek music sound?
- 10/26/13--12:15: The Terpstra Keyboard
- 11/09/13--21:23: Symphonie Cinétique - The Poetry of Motion
For visitors unfamiliar with the music of Oöphoi, he was a prolific creator of many exquisitely beautiful albums and was among the towering figures in the Italian ambient/soundscape scene.
So many perfectly beautiful compositions...
He will be sorely missed for his rare sonic vision and vast contribution to the audio arts. From a personal perspective, what makes his catalog such a treasure for the future, is its ability to endure repeated listenings down through the years, and every time I return to his albums, they remain fresh to my ears and reveal ever greater depths of detail on each new hearing. As anyone can that composes music can relate to, it is extremely difficult to attain this kind of quality, but it is a thread consistently woven throughout the fabric of his vast discography.
Speechless right now and will be listening shortly to one of my favorite Oöphoi albums: Hymns To A Silent Sky (2005).
Oöphoi - Fragile Beauty
This entire album is wonderful and I've always loved the long-form composition The Unbearable Sadness Of Memories...
Oöphoi - The Unbearable Sadness Of Memories (Hymns To A Silent Sky)
I have personally long regarded this as a composition of perfected beauty among many, many others by Oöphoi.
More Oöphoi on YouTube
Just intonation composer, Robert Rich, has a nice dedication on his site:
For Gianluigi Gasparetti, “Oöphoi”
Hypnos label owner, Mike Griffin has a tribute here:
Oöphoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) Has Passed Away
An Oöphoi Wikipedia article and discography:
For what it may be worth, in celebration of the life and creative work of this wonderful artist, this past week I've returned to my private Oöphoi archive with new ears, and renewed interest, to do more Deep Listenings of the following timeless and amazingly beautiful records:
Oöphoi - Static Soundscapes - Three Lights at the End of the World (Hic Sunt Leones, 1996)
Oöphoi - The Spirals of Time (Limited Deluxe Edition - 1998)
Oöphoi - Mare Vaporum (2000)
Oöphoi - Athlit (2002)
Oöphoi - Bardo (2002)
Oöphoi - Mare Imbrium (2003)
Oöphoi - Mare Tranquilitatis (2004)
Oöphoi - The Dreaming Of Shells (2004)
Oöphoi & Tau Ceti - Archaic Oceans (2004)
Oöphoi - Hymns to a Silent Sky (2005)
Oöphoi - Awakening The Nagas (Penumbra, 2005)
Oöphoi - The Rustling Of Leaves (2005)
Oöphoi - Time Fragments Vols. 1-6 (2001-2005)
Oöphoi & Tau Ceti - Celestial Geometries (The Complete Recordings - 2006)
Oöphoi - Dreams, Parts 1-3 (2006)
Oöphoi - Arpe Di Sabbia (2007)
Oöphoi & Faryus - Forgotten Rituals (2007)
These I would have to rank as among my top favorite Oöphoi records, although there are many more available to consider. Highly recommended if you have a way to obtain them.
This is a piece written during May 2003 (re-mastered on 4/14/2013) and is dedicated to the memory of Gianluigi Gasparetti (1958–2013), who tragically passed away this week; far too early in his quite young creative life. He was also widely known around the world as the Italian Ambient/Soundcape artist Oöphoi.
Oöphoi was among my favorite artists from any genre or style and one who has created a vast discography of some of the most beautiful and organic minimalist soundscape and drone music of anyone working in this field of artistic endeavor. Although it was never explicitly stated that he systematically worked with alternative intonation systems, even a cursory listen to his output will reveal that the music is often working with textures, drones and melodic materials that are far from the pitch-grid of the familiar Western 12-tone-equal-temperament. It is clear by inference and association that he was aware of just intonation, from both his interaction with Robert Rich (just intonation composer and co-inventor of the MIDI Tuning Standard) and that he published a widely distributed Ambient music journal called Deep Listenings, from a phrase coined by American New Music and just intonation composer Pauline Oliveros.
Although this amazing artist was taken from us far to early in his creative life, we are fortunate that he leaves us with a vast catalog of records to explore in the future; a worthy pursuit for anyone curious about one of the seminal figures in the field of drone-based minimalism of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
This composition; a small gesture of remembrance and thanks to an artist who has been an occasional inspiration to my own work since I first learned of his amazing artistry in the early 2000s, is an excerpt from the longer version of the piece that is, in its entirety, 23:26 long, and is created using a heptatonic 23 limit just intonation microtuning.
Download the full length composition using the below links:
MP3 (320 kps stereo)
Many kind thanks for taking the time to listen,
Visitors may recall a past post about about video artist/composer Jeffrey Plaide, who has been featured twice on one of my personal favorite new-media sites, Triangulation Blog.
Access these articles here:
Jeffrey Plaide | 07 February 2012
Jeffrey Plaide | 26 November 2012
As previously mentioned, the artist occasionally uses the Xen-Arts, Xenharmonic FMTS VSTi in his work, as is the case with the below two recent video works:
The Fear of Webs and Other Faceless Anomalies
Haunted Moon Ancient Humana
Very impressive video art. Check it out!
[For those interested in such matters, at some point, hopefully before this year is out, an update to Xen-FMTS, will become available. When completed and tested, this new iteration to version 2 will take the instrument to completely new levels of possibility for microtonal and xenharmonic sound-design and spectral-microtuning. In the meanwhile, I'm actively focused on both solo and collaborative recording projects which will also be available in upcoming months. Stay microtuned to Xen-Arts for all of these potentially exciting developments.]
Ella Fitzgerarld - Midnight Sun - Live Cannes Festival 1958
Since its public release on February 3, 2013 - in just a mere three month period - there have been 6,818 downloads of the XenFont VSTi, making it, by far, the most popular of all the Xen-Arts instruments.
Perhaps the most surprising part of seeing this level of enthusiasm, is a previously held preconception, that the SF2 SoundFont format was basically obsolete, and for this reason, there would likely be very little interest in a fully microtonal SF2 VSTi, however, this has proven to be entirely incorrect.
As well as the uniformly positive feedback from computer musicians and composers around the world, it has also been an honor to have the instrument featured on a variety of great music technology websites such as:
Free XenFont Microtonal Hybrid Synth VSTi For Windows
Free music software round-up: Week 121 Freeware synths and effects
Xen-Arts releases XenFont: Xenharmonic SoundFont VSTi
Xen-Arts releases XenFont: Microtonal SoundFont & Subtractive Synthesis VSTi for Windows
Hybrid Soundfont And Subtractive SynthXen-Arts introduces the fully-microtonlal XenFont VSTi for Windows
Bedroom Producers Blog
XenFont – Free Microtonal SF2 Player And Synthesizer By Xen-Arts
It's been thrilling to see this truly astonishing level of interest, in this, and the other Xen-Arts VSTi, and as always, if you create xenharmonic and microtonal music with these instruments, get in touch to let us know about it, as the ultimate goal of this effort is to inspire computer musicians and composers to explore the vast expressive possibilities of composing and performing with alternative intonation systems.
To all of the friendly people who have posted comments, shared music and written privately, it's been great to hear from you and learn about your interest in xenharmonic and microtonal music.
Here's one to add to your list of films that feature microtones, that is if indeed you actually maintain such lists.
Anyone who has been following the evolution of xenharmonic and microtonal music over the past many decades, will recognize that not a lot of music has been written in the exotic and compositionally challenging 23-ED2, with some noteworthy exceptions, such as track 5, 23 Notes - Allegro Moderato, from Easley Blackwood's infamous - 12 Microtonal Etudes for Electronic Music Media.
But where the vistas of possibility opened for me personally about 23 equal, was over a decade ago now, when I was one of the lucky recipients of a massive care-package of fantastic xenharmonic and microtonal music CDs from the west coast of the United States. Contained in this treasure box of audio delights, were numerous and stylistically varied pieces by xenharmonic composer and author, Brian McLaren. I recall many times during the course of deep listening and absorbing the new music in this archive, being inspired by the sound of the intonation in certain pieces, and when referencing the liner notes, would discover that they were actually in 23 equal.
So while we have that great historical piece from Blackwood's, 12 Microtonal Etudes, McLaren has actually written numerous noteworthy compositions in this intonation system, and is probably the first composer I've been aware of to master it.
[ED2, in this case, denotes an equal division of the second harmonic into 23 equal parts. EDn is a term that has been used in private alternative intonation communications between musicians, composers and developers to indicate the equal division of precise harmonic series intervals, as opposed to perceptual octave, tritaves and so on, that can vary wildly around the target, such as when played or sang by vocalists, string and wind instrument performers. Of course, with computer music and virtual instruments, we are often dealing with high precision rendering of the intonation, thus the need to distinguish between the mathematically precise and the perceptual.]
Our tour of the 23 territories continues through Italy. Three deep xenematic works from composer Carlo Serafini:
Be sure to listen to these tracks on a system with some decent bass range frequency representation.
Anyone interesting in the field of alternative intonation will probably be aware of the Gamelan music of Bali and Java, and among the most important figures to learn about is K. P. H. Notoprojo - aka - K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat.
Other installments of this great documentary:
Pak Cokro Centennial Celebration (2004), part 2
Pak Cokro Centennial Celebration (2004), part 3
Three compositions from the wonderful album...
The music of K.R.T. Wasitodiningrat, performed by Gamelan Sekar Tunjung, CMP Records, 1994
Lancaran Orde Baru, pelog barang
Gendhing Corobalen - Ktw Basanta, pelog nem
Lancaran Penghijauan, slendro manyura
Our friends at LinPlug have been working on a new virtual instrument called Spectral, which will be available in the fall of this year.
Having been on their beta group since microtuning features were added to their CronoX 3, I can affirm that Spectral is one of the most amazing sounding, fully microtunable instruments I've worked with in like - well - ever.
Seriously, this instrument is capable of making an incredibly vast range of exquisite timbres that can be used for explorations into the deep sound realms of alternative intonation, which display many resonant properties one would typically associate with acoustic instruments.
Like the rest of LinPlug's fully-microtonal virtual instrument line, Spectral will also use the TUN format which was invented by developer Mark Henning, and first introduced in his AnaMark VSTi synthesizer back in 2003.
As far as virtual instruments designed for alternative intonation goes, the LinPlug Spectral will no doubt be the big event of 2013. Excitement abounds...
Often little explanation is needed when one is presented with some of the most beautiful music ever recorded; the only requirement being the ability to listen deeply and honestly...
Kim Byong-ho - Kayagum Sanjo Improvisation
Ancient Korean Traditional Music - Hwang Byeonggi - Kayagum Sanjo Variation (Filmed in 1966)
Yu Tai-bong - Kayagum Sanjo
Scattered Melodies: Korean Kayagum Sanjo LP SF077
Featuring the most excellent sounds of rods and plates microtuned to a 14 tone scale.
Breathtakingly amazing timbres!
It's very exciting to see that our friends from Anaphoria have released a new record this week...
Kraig Grady Meta-Slendro vibraphone
Terumi Narushima Meta-Slendro organ
Here's an interesting new article on The Guardian:
"Soundtrack score for A Simple Plan features "very specific quarter tone detunings coming off the Emulator"."
"But one shouldn't assume that the Greeks' idea of tuning was identical to ours. Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD provides precise mathematical ratios for numerous different scale-tunings, including one that he says sounds "foreign and homespun".
Timeless: Joan Plowright and John Gielgud preparing a 1959 radio version of a Sophocles play
Dr David Creese of the University of Newcastle has constructed an eight-string "canon" (a zither-like instrument) with movable bridges.
When he plays two versions of the Seikilos tune using Ptolemy's tunings, the second immediately strikes us as exotic, more like Middle Eastern than Western music.
The earliest musical document that survives preserves a few bars of sung music from a play, Orestes by the fifth-century BC tragedian Euripides. It may even be music Euripides himself wrote.
Music of this period used subtle intervals such as quarter-tones. We also find that the melody doesn't conform to the word pitches at all."
Just noticed today that Synthtopia has a feature about the Terpstra Keyboard:
Uncovering the other Terpstra Keyboard Prototype
Discovering the Terpstra Keyboard prototype
"I have fielded a few questions from people concerned about the noise of the keys in the videos posted online. Rest assured we will address the issues, but in the interest of disclosure and putting potential backer's minds at ease, here is a brief of what causes the noise and what we plan to do about it.
1) When releasing a keystroke by gliding your finger off its edge, the key releases quickly and the colored keycap rattles. The keycaps shown in the video are powder-coated steel caps, held in place with weak ceramic magnets. The weakness was intentional, as I did not want to interfere with the stronger neodymium magnets directly below them that interact with the Hall effect sensors that sense key position.
In the new design, we plan to retain the keycaps entirely differently, using a plastic snap fastener molded into the keycap itself. That should take care of that (and the keycap that falls out of its place in the video, as one observant musician noted).
2) The keyboard in the video needs recalibration of the keys. Over time, some sensor drift is anticipated, and as such the keyboards were programmed with a calibration procedure to sense the top and bottom of their full range of travel. Mike reported having to push the individual keys fairly deep into their keystroke to send a note-on event. As a result, he was playing the keyboard hard and bottoming out the keys. Recalibrating should fix this issue and the keyboard becomes more responsive. I expect in the next rev of keyboard firmware, we will be able to implement an auto-calibration so this step can be skipped."
SYMPHONIE CINÉTIQUE -THE POETRY OF MOTION FILM from MADE on Vimeo.
The dialogue and exchange between these two craftsmen, each coming from a distinctly different discipline, resulted in a majestic clash of light, motion and sound.
Please dive in, let go and enjoy this wonderful moment - Joachim's graceful kinetic pieces breathing and moving in harmony with the touching music composed by Olafur.
Film by: Matthias Maercks"